Described as the first of its kind in Australia, the new CATALINA Lounge is an airport developed and operated international lounge rather than aligned with one specific airline or agency.
It claims that it has been created for "the benefit of the airport’s existing airline partners", to attract new international airline carriers and promote tourism in the Northern Territory, with a special focus on Hong Kong, Mainland China and New Zealand.
"Proudly partnering with Northern Territory Government and Tourism NT on the project, Darwin International Airport has created a space which will meet the needs of all types of travellers, from business guests through to families," it says.
The new facility features a kid’s zone, a flexible menu catered to a diverse audience and a VIP area for business travellers.
It also has swing capability making the space available during off-peak times as a venue for hire by business groups and local agencies.
The elegant lounge can host up to 70 passengers, is fully catered and licensed with premium facilities and modern technology.
"From our rich Indigenous culture through to Darwin’s fascinating aviation heritage, the space is inspired by the unique culture and history of the Northern Territory," says the airport.
"Intricate motifs from Arnhem Land adorn the walls, while the interior design takes a gentle nod to the golden age of flying boats, the era of the Catalina and Empire Class aircraft – understated elegance, luxury travel and adventure."
Drawing on the unique Territorian theme, the featured artwork in the lounge is by 2013 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award winner for bark painting, Malaluba Gumana, an artist representing Buku Lanngyay Mulka Art Centre in Yirrkala, Arnhem Land.
Design agency Balarinji oversaw the commissioning and installation of this unique artwork.
Across the airport, CATALINA Lounge will support 10 new staff positions and Darwin International Airport is invested in working with Northern Territory hotels to package accommodation and CATALINA Lounge entry passes for international guests.
The name CATALINA is inspired by the golden era of the flying boats, specifically the Catalina Flying Boat.
Darwin International Airport, together with Alice Springs and Tenant Creek Airports, is owned by Airport Development Group (ADG).
Its owners are IFM Investors and Palisade Investment Partners Limited, so Darwin Airport is indirectly owned by many Australians’ superannuation funds.
More than 2.4 million passengers travelled through the three airports last year with the airports and associated businesses contributing 1.5% of the Gross State Product of the Northern Territory.